The commander of the Free Syria Army, the militant arm of Syria's opposition, said that about half of Syrian territory is no longer under control of the regime of President Bashar Assad, Dubai-based Al Arabiya reported Wednesday.
Still, Riyadh Al-Asaad, the effective commander of the army of Syrian defectors and rebel activists, said that the Free Syria Army could not completely control any specific zone, fearing the destructive response of the Syrian regime.
Asaad's bold proclamation conflicted with reports earlier this week that Syrian forces had driven rebels out of areas in and around the capital Damascus.
The Syrian Revolution General Commission, the centralized organization of opposition groups, said that at least 45 people were gunned down by Assad's forces, after 45 people were killed on Tuesday when the Syrian army battled rebels in-and-around Damascus.
Of the 40 killed on Wednesday, 23 died in the region surrounding the capital in gun battles and bombings by the Syrian army, Al Jazeera reported.
At least 11 died in Homs, four in the southern city of Deraa, and one in the northern cities of Hama and Idlib, according to the report.